Twice Invisible, Twice Clandestine. Football and Lesbianism in Spain During the Years of Democratic Transition (1970–1982)

Dolors Ribalta Alcalde, Xavier Pujadas

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    Resum

    The main objective of this paper is to analyze the relationship between women’s football and lesbianism during the 1970s in Spain as well as the invisibility characteristics of this group of women in the context of the invisibility of women’s football in this period and in the context of the political transition until 1982. In the repressive context of late Francoism and given the validity until 1978 of laws that expressly persecuted homosexuality, social, cultural, legal, and political pressure had a very important impact on lesbian women who participated in the incipient practice of football in Spain in the 1970s. Some of these players built gay social networks through sports clubs and later started clandestine meetings in bars and private celebrations. The period studied—between 1970 and 1982—coincided with the rebirth of women’s football in Spain and the international emergence of this sport. The research has been based on the use of in-depth interview as a method and historiographical technique that has allowed us to obtain the life stories of nine lesbian or heterosexual women football players in different Spanish cities (who in general have lived and live in a private sexual identity) and two coaches linked to women’s teams. These sources have been expanded and contrasted from others of a documentary nature (specialized press and bibliography) to reconstruct the context studied and contrast the reliability of the information collected. In conclusion, it has been established that, despite the low visibility of women’s football and homosexuality, the legal pressure of the period and the opposition of the public authorities and institutions of the dictatorship, the field of football allowed these women to overcome some of the difficulties in the process of building their identity and discrimination based on sexual orientation. In turn, support networks—especially of teammates—private parties and atmosphere bars, were fundamental to the life experience of young lesbian athletes in the still repressive context of the end of the Franco dictatorship and the first years of the young democratic regime in Spain.

    Títol traduït de la contribucióDos Veces Invisibles, Dos Veces Clandestinas. Fútbol y Lesbianismo en España Durante Los Años de la Transición Democrática (1970–1982)
    Idioma originalAnglès
    Pàgines (de-a)247-264
    Nombre de pàgines18
    RevistaSport History Review
    Volum54
    Número2
    DOIs
    Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2023

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